Selection Committees



The Forest of Reading has eight individual selection committees that are tasked with selecting the annual nominated lists for children and adults. After reviewing all applications, the OLA appoints the committees to read, reviews and recommend Canadian books that meet the selection criteria and are deemed to be the best available titles for a given year, in a given program.

Committee - Terms of Reference
Chair of Committee - Terms of Reference


The individual committees:
  • Are expected to review all books sent in by the publishers;
  • Post reviews on the OLA Community based on the set out criteria established for each program;
  • Are required to sign a confidentiality contract, as the deliberations of the committee and final selection must remain confidential;
  • Are to be very aware of censorship issues versus selection criteria;
  • Need to have an understanding of critical literacy and age appropriate literature;
  • Are responsible for defending the selections with respect to any queries that are brought forth to OLA; and
  • Are expected to attend any meetings called by the Chairs (phone or in person) or OLA.


These committees will supply the top 10 list of nominated titles to the Forest of Reading® Official Wholesaler, and OLA, based on the schedule put forth by OLA.  In addition, all publisher annotations must be provided to OLA.  All committee members must support the nominated list and be in agreement that the list is balanced.


The Selection Committee varies from program to program, however the general guidelines are as follows:
  • All members must be current OLA members.
  • Two chairs, one senior, one junior, to ensure continuity (Chairs are appointed by Forest Director with consultation from outgoing Chairs)
  • A core group of between 15-20
  • Those accepted have professional experience with the program they are applying for and/or have book-selecting experience for the age they are selecting.
  • A combination of individuals from school and public libraries for the school aged programs
  • Adult literacy specialists for the Golden Oak program
  • A group of Public Library professionals for the Evergreen program
  • Those on the committee are expected to make a firm commitment to be fully participating members of the committee
  • Full participation involves ensuring all books will be reviewed and that the final minimum selection required will be his or her responsibility in conjunction with the rest of the core group

Resources and budget:

  • Teleconference requirements
  • One face-to-face meeting for Chairs
  • Return and routing of review copies is covered by the official wholesaler (as per contract with OLA)
  • Committee members must submit an expense form to official wholesaler on or before the due date set


The timeline for each Award varies due to the reading demands for each program. Below is the schedule of reading:
  • Blue Spruce – April to June
  • Silver Birch – November to August
  • Red Maple – October to August
  • White Pine – September to August
  • Le Prix Peuplier – February to August
  • Le Prix Tamarac – February to August
  • Golden Oak – December to July
  • Evergreen – February to December
The final lists for the school-aged programs and Golden Oak are announced on October 15th. The final list for Evergreen is announced during Ontario Public Library Week (starting in 2017).

2018 Selection Committees

Co-Chairs of the Forest of Reading®
Ruth Gretsinger, District School Board of Niagara
Isabelle Hobbs, Durham District School Board

Blue Spruce Award™

Becky Jenkins (Co-Chair)
Sarah Oesch (Co-Chair)
Bill Tryphonopoulos, Brandy Spencer, Brenda MacNaughton, Carla Warnholtz, Diane Mackay, Elizabeth Caione, Erica Rodd, Isabelle Hobbs, Johanna Gibson-Lawler, Josie Norton, Katelyn Granger, Kendra Cutting, Kim Haney, Kim Worobec, Lori Pierce, Luisa Esposito-Karantakis, Michelle Perrone-Bonavita, Sherri Norris

Silver Birch Fiction Award®

Peggy Thomas (Co-Chair)
Lauren Flattery (Co-Chair)
Agnieszka Marszalek, Barbara Kassies, Constance McIelwain, Corrina McGill, Donna Lynch, Emily Brady, Jenn Marinacci, Laurel McCaig, Rashed Ahmad, Ruth Gretsinger, Stefanie Lawson

Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award®

Donna Lynch (Co-Chair)
Tony Duval (Co-Chair)
Donna Millard, Erin Anderson, Kate Morrison, Luisa Esposito-Karantakis, Lynn Wisniewski, Sonia Doyon

Red Maple Fiction Award™ 

Jenn Hubbs (Co-Chair)
Jean-Anne Symak (Co-Chair)
Isabelle Hobbs, Jessica Longthorne, Josie Norton, Karen Upper, Katelyn Granger, Kim Elliott, Laura Orford, Leah Ed Pisano, Luisa Esposito-Karantakis, Samantha Dillane, Serena McGovern, Stephanie Park, Theresa Power, Vicki Von Ruben, Myra Junyk

White Pine Award™

Theresa Power (Co-Chair)
Caroline Ducanson (Co-Chair)
Amy Mathers, Angela Thompson, Corina Surcel, Enid Wray, Jade Noble, Karen Whiteman, Liz Gilbert, Mary Burbridge, Melissa McCardle, Ruth Marinelli, Serena McGovern, Susan O'Brien

Evergreen Award™ 

Kathryn Lee (Chair)
Carrie Benbow, Jeff Dodge, Katrina Doktor, Colleen Kelly, Erin Kernohan-Berning, Christine MacArthur, Caroline Moynihan, Emily Weiskopf-Ball, Stephanie McPherson

Golden Oak Award™

Gail Kavelman (Chair)
Bonnie Foster-Abel, Kate Morrison, Katie Hill, Lynella James, Myra Junyk, Nicole Coker, Romaine Honey, Sherri Ryan, Suzanne Alimoglu

Le Prix Tamarac Award

Eugenia Doval (Chair)
Carlie Myher, Guillaume Brien-Regimbald, Jeannette Weatherill, Julie Demers, Linda Murray, Lisa Scordino, Luisa Esposito-Karantakis, Margaret Mary Conlon, Nathalie Cazenave-Dit-Berdot, Sonia Doyon

Le Prix Tamarac Express Award

Evy Gambin (Chair)
Carlie Myher, Eugenia Doval, Guillaume Brien-Regimbald, Isabelle Wathier, Jeannette Weatherill, Julie Demers, Linda Murray, Lisa Scordino, Luisa Esposito-Karantakis, Margaret Mary Conlon, Nathalie Cazenave-Dit-Berdot, Sonia Doyon

Le Prix Peuplier Award

Diane Quessy (Chair)
Amanda Halfpenny-Lavender, Carlie Myher, Christine Fortin, Claudine Blanchard, Eugenia Doval, Guillaume Brien-Regimbald, Jeannette Weatherill, Julie Demers, Linda Murray, Lisa Scordino, Luisa Esposito-Karantakis, Lynn MacDonald, Margaret Mary Conlon, Nancie Bolduc, Nathalie Cazenave-Dit-Berdot, Sonia Doyon